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For the first time in about 6 billion years I bought the local paper. My news spending tends to run on the high side, with subscriptions to the Financial Times and the Times of London taking more than their pound of flesh. The Wall Street Journal and the Nikkei Asian Review were subscriptions as well but I phased them out last year. What with the Times of London shuttering their Dublin office and laying off their Irish reporters I decided to lay their publisher off and take my subscription money elsewhere. So today I popped to the shops and bought... Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2019 at Zilla's Parting Shot
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With Game of Thrones no longer on the air Netflix missed an opportunity to hype Stranger Things 3 for months by delivering weekly episodes instead of dropping it all together for binge watching. I know that’s not how some people would prefer to watch it but there’s a lot to be said for appointment television. Not least the opportunity to discuss the episodes with other viewers and speculate as to what will happen next. Season 3 was an improvement over a rather lifeless season 2 but suffered from pacing problems resulting from it being written as an 8-hour movie and... Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2019 at Zilla's Parting Shot
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There are more than a few sour grapes in the Wall Street Journal article covering Jony Ive. That said, when I saw him speak recently, he was clearly nostalgic for the days he worked with Steve Jobs. I can report there was no sign of any $15,000 gold Apple watch. Jony wearing an orange banded sports model instead. Kanye West only needs so many wrist watches so even Jony must know the audience for such a luxury item is limited. Ridiculously priced trinkets aside, you do have to wonder what type of people are running Apple right now? Tim Cook... Continue reading
Posted Jul 1, 2019 at Zilla's Parting Shot
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The technology business has much in common with the fashion industry. Both follow fads and have a gaggle of posers who flitter from seasonal event to seasonal event. They're hype driven businesses and just like failed attempts at creating fashion... Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2019 at Mark Twomey
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It’s possible that I drive the oldest car in the world. Not really, but my car is a 17 year old Japanese import Corolla that has been well maintained. Maintained in the places I could reach at least, but in the places I couldn’t time has taken its toll. A few months ago a mechanic opened up the brake system for the first time since it left Japan and rust poured out. I paid to have all that dealt with but after much yelling from family members I’ve been on the hunt for a new car. We’re now entering month... Continue reading
Posted May 30, 2019 at Zilla's Parting Shot
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It isn't the ending some fans wanted but it is an ending. Wrapping up a series is difficult business even when you know where you are going. Overall, the execution here was solid and the cinematography beautiful. Still lacking the author's sparkling dialogue the drama was high and the actors capable. Daenerys was suitably terrifying at the apex of her power and while her fans are upset that she was no longer the great liberator what she was is what she has always been. A Dothraki warlord. This was always the end state of her journey and had her husband... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2019 at Zilla's Parting Shot
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A number of years ago I found myself in an elevator with a former titan of the technology industry. This man once ran a incredibly innovative company that pioneered new technologies but it too was disrupted out of existence. He was a headline maker in the technology press, always great for a quote and enjoyed the rough-and-tumble of competing against more powerful rivals in a bareknuckle way. I remember thinking that he was rich when I was just learning how to count and he was probably enjoying his semi retirement. His phone beeped, he pulled it out of his pocket... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2019 at Zilla's Parting Shot
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The lesson of Game of Thrones has always been that good people can and do fail. Ned Stark failed, Rob Stark failed, Margaery Tyrell failed, Tommen Baratheon failed, and the list goes on. Evil is not vanquished in this story the way it is not vanquished in life. Depressing, but accurate. Handed the unconditional surrender of King’s Landing Daenerys failed and committed a succession of atrocities as she reduced its unarmed population to ashes. The show started in the opening scenes with her crazy hair and the deep circles around her eyes, it ended in her super-villain black leather outfit... Continue reading
Posted May 13, 2019 at Zilla's Parting Shot
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Two categories of microprocessor have dominated computing over the past 18 years, performance processors and low power processors. These are now being joined by a third category of microprocessors, minimal cost processors. This emergence of minimal cost processors, led by... Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2019 at Mark Twomey
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Get ready for the heartbreak next week as amongst the torrents of fire and rivers of blood I suspect we will see good people fail. They will commit evil acts in the name of the greater good which will result in their personal damnation. While viewers might complain that this week’s Game of Thrones did not cover anything of substance, what they mean is there wasn’t enough action, I found it gripping. How awkward was that feast? The funeral pyres were still burning as the alliance between the North and the Dragon Queen began to crumble. Crumble like Daenerys’s sanity,... Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2019 at Zilla's Parting Shot
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The promise of quantum computing is its ability to derive answers for problems which are currently computationally prohibitive. Of the many open issues surrounding the successful delivery of mass-market quantum computers two of note are the vagueness of what they... Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2019 at Mark Twomey
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Winter arrives with a horde of rage filled undead and now it's the race to the finale. While there were some touching moments in this week's Game of Thrones wasn't the major character death count disappointing?!? A lot of secondary characters went to meet their maker, some of them got glorious giantkilling deaths, but the people who really count are still alive. Something you could just about tell in the oppressive dark gloom that enveloped this episode. Shooting in the dark not only helped with the sense of confusion you would feel in a battle but also helped with the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 29, 2019 at Zilla's Parting Shot
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Very few movie franchises have managed to sustain continuous interest over a decade. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has done so and while Endgame is neither as good nor as coherent as Infinity War it does what you would expect to tie up this franchise at this point in its life. -Spoiler observations from here.- 1: Get ready for Tony Stark, the Avengers Artificial Intelligence. Can the Marvel movie franchise keep operating at this level without Robert Downey Jr? I’m not sure it can, so they’ll bring him back. At the start of Civil War, during his MIT presentation, Tony states... Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2019 at Zilla's Parting Shot
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Capeshit, the most popular genre in entertainment at the moment, may have peaked with Amazon Prime airing Garth Ennis’s “The Boys” this July. (NSFW) In The Boys superheroes are a manufactured product designed and sponsored by corporations. They also happen to be a PR person’s nightmare, being narcissistic, egomaniacal, substance abusing and incompetent. While incompetent they’re still incredibly dangerous. It’s the job of a CIA black ops team (The Boys) to shoot, beat and humiliate the superheroes back into line when they start running amok. The comic book was 72 issues of extreme violence and toilet humour, indeed one of... Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2019 at Zilla's Parting Shot
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Every reader has that terrible moment when reading A Song of Ice and Fire when they realise the author will never finish this story. There is this nagging sense of dread that starts up in the back of the mind, "This is good but am I wasting my time? I could be reading something else, should I be reading something else?" You continue reading anyway and it becomes impossible to ignore that from what you've read so far, and where the characters are now, that any resolution will require thousands of more pages to tie off all the story threads... Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2019 at Zilla's Parting Shot
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Video communications provider, Zoom, IPO'd earlier this week with the shares gaining 72% on opening day. There was a lot of negative chatter about this from the technology wags on social media. "It's in the same market as Microsoft Teams... Continue reading
Posted Apr 20, 2019 at Mark Twomey
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Unlike the assemblers that Intel supplies, that is those companies in the PC, server and IT equipment markets, Intel spends a significant amount of time on maximising its use of assets. Those multibillion-dollar fabrication facilities where tight control of the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2019 at Mark Twomey
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If you don’t take your full allocation of vacation time you are working for free. I’m as guilty as anyone on this, I lost about a week and a half of vacation time last year because I started a new job and “work was busy.” I was a sucker. Work is like laundry, there’s always more of it to do. It’s never not going to be busy, there’s never a good time to be out of the office. Get over it. Looking at the results of The State of American Vacation in 2017 212 million days were lost by US... Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2019 at Zilla's Parting Shot
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I was having dinner with someone last night when they turned and said to me "Remember XYZ? Killed himself two weeks ago, the wife found him." As tragic as this was to hear unfortunately it is not the conversation stopper that it once was. I was in my early 20s the first time someone I knew committed suicide. I remember being incredibly angry at them for the hole they had just blown in their family. They didn't end their personal pain, they just transferred it to the people who love them. "Wasteful and selfish", I thought to myself. You're in... Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2019 at Zilla's Parting Shot
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Not an April fool's joke, but for my money the pinnacle of Apple's computer design engineering team output was the 17 inch Apple Studio Display. Paired with the G4 Cube it was a market failure but look at it, it was gorgeous! Looks aside the major reason I think it was the high water mark for Apple industrial design and overall care and attention of their computer range was that it was released the same year as the iPod. The iPod and its iPhone successor were such phenomena that the Macintosh business has been relegated to something that was once... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2019 at Zilla's Parting Shot
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The United Kingdom has been important economic partner for the Republic of Ireland, but when Ireland adopted the euro as its currency and the UK did not that marked a divergence between the destiny of the UK and the destiny of the Republic. This is now playing out in a very painful way with the border problem and highlights once again that both nations have different views as to what the EU represents to them. Ireland as a small country does well with the EU's economy of scale when it comes to negotiating international agreements on trade, law and an... Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2019 at Zilla's Parting Shot
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Brexit has become an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents where every time you tune in you see a twisted tale filled with unlikeable characters in desperate situations book ended by withering barbs delivered by a chubby older man. Who in this case isn't a film director but is instead the Speaker of the House of Commons. All anyone needs to know about Brexit is that the UK Parliament has lost its mind and this now plays out on screens around the world five nights a week. Desperation radiates off the UK political class in waves and comes at you through... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2019 at Zilla's Parting Shot
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Automated manufacturing lines. When I saw Theranos automated manufacturing system in HBO's "The Inventor" I smiled because it takes a certain ego to build the glistening automated assembly line that looks wonderful on camera. Steve Jobs did it at NeXT and ended up selling it off to Canon. He may have only set foot in a factory on a visit to China once or twice after that. The Edison blood analysis device itself is a nifty concept, the engineers seem to think they could eventually have made it work. I'm skeptical, engineers are secret optimists. I'm certain some other startup... Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2019 at Zilla's Parting Shot
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SAP HANA is the in memory source of truth for SAP applications, such a critical component requires regular backup to ensure business operations can be resumed after a failure or corruption. The Veeam plug-in for SAP HANA allows HANA database administrators to use Veeam managed infrastructure as a destination for... Continue reading
Posted Mar 24, 2019 at Storagezilla's Swap File
Life is too short for anonymous commenters.
Toggle Commented Mar 21, 2019 on Fracturing the Internet at Mark Twomey
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